By Justin Epstein
I was 16 when Hillary Clinton first ran for president. Not being old enough to vote, I cashed a check I earned working at my part-time job and donated it all to Hillary. It was, up to that point, the proudest moment of my life.
When Hillary ultimately lost the nomination in 2008, I told myself in eight years I would work for her-- all I had to do was wait. In the years that followed, I grew up. I moved off to college and graduate school, took a job in consulting, and got my own apartment in the city. I had, for all intents and purposes, become an adult. And even though I outgrew my childish teenage years (sorry mom!), I never outgrew my love and admiration for Hillary.
Hillary too had grown in those 8 years. She became the second female Secretary of State, and added numerous accomplishments to her already detailed resume. And when she announced her campaign for presidency, I was ready for Hillary-- we all were.
My waiting was over. I visited hillaryclinton.com and applied for a job. This was my chance, as well as hers, for a redemption eight years in the making.
A month later, I was in. I walked into the Michigan Headquarters and stepped into the literal (and figurative) bullpen, which I would call home for the next three months. Day in and day out I worked tirelessly and happily, all for a woman I had truly admired my whole life.
On the campaign I found love and triumph, but I also found toil and eventually defeat. There was one more thing, however, that I found during the campaign--hope. We elected the first Latina Senator last November. More people in the US googled about menstruation that ever before. Here at THINX HQ, we’re hopeful too. We're launching a foundation and spent this past year creating a six-month curriculum (with the input of local NGOs around the world) that helps girls gain access to safe spaces where they're able to learn and talk openly about their bodies, health, safety, and finance, and where they can ~still~ find menstrual products. There is so much to be hopeful for, even if it the times may seem troubling.
Hillary’s campaign slogan - Stronger Together - is a gentle reminder that we can accomplish so much more if we work together than we can by tearing each other down. So, over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, let’s make sure to work together to have our voices heard.
To quote aunt Hill (yes that’s what I’m affectionately calling her), we still haven't shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling. But someday, someone will. We're not done rising--we’re just getting started.